BrainFX SCREEN: Digital Cognitive Assessment for Earlier Diagnosis

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Jean Wright

Project Title: Promoting Cognitive Health for Seniors within Larger Healthcare Systems: Value of BrainFx Assessments

What is the issue?

Over half of individuals living with dementia are not identified or misdiagnosed. As a result, they do not receive the right interventions at the right time to help them age in place with less disability. Later diagnosis increases the burden on the healthcare system.

What did we do?

BrainFx SCREEN is a digital cognitive assessment for adults with early or mild cognitive dysfunction. We evaluated the tool with 20 clinicians caring for rehabilitation patients at West Park Healthcare Centre and the Crosstown Family Health team in Toronto, Canada, and 16 clinicians at Atrium Health, a large health system in the United States. Clinicians included neurologists, neuropsychologists, primary care physicians, and nurses. We analyzed their clinical workflows and potential reimbursement methods to see how the tool could be adopted into clinical practice and asked them for their feedback.

What did we find?

We planned to study the tool with about 100 patients, but COVID-19 disrupted our project. Forty-one patients at West Park and Crosstown Family Health found the tool beneficial for their care plans. Clinicians reported the digital assessment was more suitable for primary care and outpatient settings than rehabilitation inpatient settings. It was easy to upload patients’ results to electronic health records. Patients unfamiliar with tablet technology had some issues while using the tool.

More than two dozen clinicians at Atrium Health understood the screening tool’s potential benefits of the cognitive assessment tool and look forward to resuming the study after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. They plan to test BrainFX SCREEN in a primary care setting and integrate it into the Medicare Annual Wellness Exam.